⚠   Notice – The latest updates on the evolving COVID-19 policies and resources for the campus community
COVID 19 - Related Financial Aid Updates

Contact Us |  

Search form


What's New in Financial Aid and Scholarships


Visit our COVID-19 Service and Support page for Comprehensive Support Updates.

Person to Person Advising

Cal Student Central is providing online and phone advising for financial aid, registration, and billing inquiries. Please create a case with your inquiry or visit the CSC Contact Center for additional service options. We are responding to all inquiries as quickly as possible based on volume.   

Given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we want to express our continued commitment to your well-being and our dedication to your success while attending Berkeley. We will be working daily to ensure there is readily available support for all students, especially those in need.

News on What's New!

At the beginning of every term, new information about financial aid emerges. Below are some of the key items you should review to keep a grasp on how financial aid works and is working for you.

Cancel for Non-Payment

The Cancel for Non-Payment Policy (CNP) has been suspended for the Spring 2021 semester. Here’s what you need to know:

• CNP policy requires students to pay 20 percent of tuition and fees by the Friday before classes begin to avoid an impact on their classes and registration status. This was suspended for the Spring 2021 semester.

• The January 15, 2021 tuition and fee payment deadline still applies to all students, including financial aid recipients.

• Learn more on the Cancel for Non-Payment Policy page.

• If you have questions or need support, contact Cal Student Central (CSC) online at studentcentral.berkeley.edu/open-case or visit the CSC Contact Center for additional service options.


Spring Aid Disbursement and Paying for Books

Financial aid for spring will disburse beginning on January 11, 2021 for eligible students. Direct deposit and refund checks are processed after accepted aid applies to your account. Please allow 3 to 5 business days to receive your refund via direct deposit (if activated) once your award has disbusred to your student account. All other refunds will be mailed to the address you have listed in CalCentral. Please check and update your address in CalCentral to ensure refund checks are mailed to the correct address. 

Accepted aid (except work-study) will first apply toward any outstanding fall charges before it applies to your spring charges - if you have more aid than charges, you will receive a refund to assist you in paying for books and living expenses. Sign up for Direct Deposit to receive your refunds directly to your bank account via CalCentral! Activation may take up to seven business days.

If you have more charges than aid, you will have a balance due. Use the Calculate a Balance Worksheet to determine how much refund you will receive or your balance due after your financial aid awards have disbursed for fall.


Emergency Loan Program Dates

Friday, December 18, 2020 is the last date to apply for a Fall 2020 Emergency Loan application. Spring 2021 Emergency Loans will be available starting January 12, 2021. Visit the Short Term Emergency Loan website for more information about Emergency Loans.


2020-21 Expected Family Contribution Appeal Deadline

The deadline to submit an Expected Family Contribution Appeal for the 2020-21 academic year if February 5, 2021. If your family income has changed since your submitted your aid application for the 2020-21 academic year, you can submit an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) appeal via the Berkeley Financial Aid Forms website. Watch our short video and review our EFC Appeal flyer to learn if this is the right step for you. If you have been selected for financial aid verification for 2020-21, your verification will need to be completed before you will be able to submit an EFC appeal.


What's the Fastest Way to Receive Your Financial Aid Refund?

If you have not already signed up for Direct Deposit (a.k.a. Electronic Funds Transfer [EFT]) to receive your refunds directly to your bank account, you can still sign up via CalCentral! Activation may take up to seven business days. Until Direct Deposit/EFT is activated, paper refund checks are printed and mailed to you.


2020-21 Cost of Attendance Adjustment Requests

Should the standard Cost of Attendance not match the actual living expenses you may experience this year, you may request a Cost of Attendance Adjustment. Learn more about the process on our Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request page.


Technology Resources are Available

Students who do not have access to the technology resources they need are invited to apply now to the Student Technology Equity Program (STEP) to be considered for a new laptop, drawing tablet, webcam, microphone and noice cancelling headphones to support equitable access to instruction, research, and co-curricular components of student life. Devices will be mailed to students' homes directly. If you have questions, please email ucbstep@berkeley.edu. 


The March 2nd Aid Application Deadline Approaches!

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the California Dream Act Application are currently available for the 2021-22 academic year, and we will be notifying students about financial aid verification requirements in early Spring. It is important to complete your application as soon as possible to meet all financial aid deadlines and to get next year off to a great start. The application priority deadline is March 2, 2021. If you file after March 2nd, some types of financial aid may be limited. For more information, visit the FAFSA website and the Dream Act website. Remember, you need to submit an application each year.


Money Management Resources Available

Need help managing your money? Bears for Financial Success is a peer-to-peer program on campus to help you manage your personal finances. You can schedule an appointment with a peer educator or check out our website for more information.